Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Food...Easy Italian Bake

OK so I feel like the Italian mother who has neglected my children by not cooking enough food!  Life has been a whirlwind the past two weeks and I have not only neglected cooking for my real children, but I have not had any goodness to share with all of you.  And I have learned that you are all like my co-workers and family - have food and they shall come, hahaha.  So here is a good one for these busy, chilly fall days that you can make one night and reheat and reheat and it will just get tastier and tastier.  I made this last night while I also turned pork tenderloin leftovers into soup and made hot sandwiches for dinner.
Start with a large pot of boiling water and cook a box of penne or rigatoni according to directions.  While that is boiling, brown 1 pound of lean ground beef.  Make sure you let it brown until it gets those dark brown bits for the extra flavor.  Now that you have those two things going on the stove, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and take a 13x9x2 glass baking dish and coat the bottom with your favorite spaghetti sauce (I cheated and used store bought chunky garden pasta sauce).  About 1/2 of a jar will do.  When your pasta is done, drain well and add it to your baking dish in an even layer.  Top with about 1 cup of ricotta.  Drain your ground beef if necessary and top the ricotta with the beef.  Top with a thick layer of pasta sauce - I used the rest of my open jar and a whole other jar.  Top that evenly with about 1 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese and 1 small round of fresh mozzarella cheese broken into small bits.  Pop into the oven for about 25-30 minutes uncovered and let it bubbly away until the top of the cheese is golden.  Yummmmmm!

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